Jody’s Dance celebrates 45th anniversary

| April 30, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE – Jody Seibert was a shy little girl so her mother enrolled her in a tap class to help bring her out of her shell. That class was the start of a passion for dance that the owner of Jody’s Dance has now been sharing with her students for 45 years.

Seibert started teaching dance to young children in 1973 when she was a sophomore at Ridgewood High School.

“A parent asked if I would teach and I ended up doing that through high school,” she said. “I never thought I would end up doing this all this time.”

Seibert continued teaching when she was in college, but her lessons moved to different places over the years. She even held lessons in her grandma’s yard and garage.

“In 1979 is when it got serious,” Seibert said.

Her first studio was in Coshocton, but she felt drawn back to West Lafayette.

“I grew up in Isleta and had been around West Lafayette my whole life,” Seibert said. “I felt the kids there needed this.”

She relocated her studio to the Dale Gress Real Estate office, where the museum now is and then taught at her old house and new house, which was built in 1994.

“I taught in our basement until we grew out of it,” Seibert said.

Lessons are now held at Ridgewood Elementary School and Seibert is assisted by her daughter Lindsay McQueen.

“I just did tap, jazz and baton at first and then added ballet, hip hop and tumbling,” Seibert said. “I was a majorette in high school so baton and tap are my favorite. How we’ve grown has been really unexpected and humbling. I’m so fortune.”

She can’t imagine not teaching dance.

“It’s in my heart,” Seibert said. “The kids look so forward to it. You see it in their smiles and know it’s in their heart.”

She loves the enthusiasm and spirit of her students.

“When we see them behind the stage we think they are nervous, but when we close the curtain after they’ve performed they are asking if they can do it again,” Seibert said. “They are just so precious.”

Jody’s Dance wrapped up its 45th year with recitals held April 27-29 at Ridgewood High School.

“I want to thank my mom for starting this all out by taking me to dance and my husband and family,” Seibert said. “It’s always been a family thing.”

In addition to her daughter, Seibert also has a son, Justin from Seibert Studios who takes the dancers pictures each year, and six grandchildren.

Signups for Jody’s Dance will be held again in the fall and are open to pre-dancers (age 2) to high school age. For more information, follow Jody’s Dance on Facebook.

“We believe in your child and want them to be innocent for as long as they can,” Seibert said. “We plan to stick to business the same way we always have. We just want the kids to have a fun half hour away from the problems of their little worlds.”

She’s honored to have been able to do that for so many children over the years.

“My favorite part of the whole dance thing is that I’ve been allowed to be a part of so many people’s lives,” Seibert said. “It’s the best. Who’d have thought that shy little girl in tap would have been given this opportunity?”

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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